tv Weekend News Al Jazeera September 27, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
and the idea and the perception of muslims that we have gotten from some of the republican candidate recently? that god wanted for all of us and american republican candidates need to know they are part of the fabric of united states of america. when you step on the muslims, you step on american dream, you step on what makes america. at the end of the day in diversity lies unity. i thought the pope made it clear to americans in general, and republicans, that it brings everyone on, becomes a voice of
inclusivity, not exclusivity, and muslims, secluded by many republican candidates needed to hear the assurance from the christians that the right wing in the american political community do not do it for the entire american christianity, and american christianity and christianity in general is not exclusive for muslims. it's important for not only muslims, but americans to hear it as well. >> on the right of the screen, the multi-faith service, on the left-hand is live at the airport in philadelphia, where the pope is getting ready to board the plane. doctor, i just wanted to ask you why is it that this catholic
pope is able to bring people together, and other religious leaders have not been able to? >> i think he recognises just about every part of the world, and realising that much of the violence is taking place in the name of religion, and he being a man much peace wants to use that and say unless people believe in religion come together and respect each other. there can be no piece. peace. the main thing is to bring the religious faiths together. it's an important step for any leader. it's very personal. religion is abused to fight. what he wants to give us is recognising or realising that we all need to work together to bring peace, and you can read
the message starting over and over. i think it's a very strong message. >> i wanted to get patrick into the service. >> absolutely, you and i spoke a few days ago when watching the pope at a school in harlem. watching the mass today, what did you feel about that, what do you thing the broader ecumenical community can learn from it. >> one thing i'll refer to is the pope's consistent message, you said something earlier in the broadcast when you referred to people that want to be like the pope, and the pope wants to be like jesus, that is something we cannot overlook, that what the pope is saying in his messages, from washington to new york and philadelphia, has been consistent. it's a direct nation of the message of jess us.
jesus how do we honour every human being and not ostracize, how do we honour the dignity of refugees in this country. it's been a transcendent and transformative moment. many of us, who practice our faith, no matter what that faith is, heard something today that bound us together. i remember years ago when martin luther king was asked who was the greatest person. and he said gandhi, he was not christian, but there are messages that transform our religions, and there's a combined that ought to lead us and enhance humanity, not tear it doug. -- down. >> i couldn't agree more.
trying to make distinctions as a political leader, spiritual leader. for the first christians, the faith was about changing society, making it more like the rein of god. this is confounding so many ways we carve up the world. do you think that's right? >> i agree 100%. i think those of us that pay close attention to scripture - i know you do, patrick. we have to remember when jesus, whom i believe that pope francis is modelling his work and message after. when jesus talked and preached according to the scriptures, it was offensive to those that wanted to maintain the institution of religion, those that wanted to paint the status quo. any time you speak words that help people to think of themselves differently and re-imagine themselves, it can be
offensive to many people, and those that practice the kind of faith that is exclusive. it can be offensive to those that want to be upholders of the institutions. for those who are on the underside of humanity, those in the margins, those that have been ostracised. it is liberation, it is freedom, and a break through in the public discourse. i'm glad this message and language gom nated the public discourse for the past several days. >> pastor, i'm curious to know what you felt about the pope's vision to the prison. he talked about how many african-americans and latinos, and people who are poor and people who are the oppressed are in prison, and wanted to give them a message of hope. what was your feeling about that? >> again i heard many references today and in the past seven days, when jesus says the
measure of your faith will be determined by how you feed those that are hungry, clothe those are are hungry, what he did was to draw attention to those in our society who are often rendered completely irrelevant. he sat with murders and rapists and people who often we do not pay attention to. what he did in that moment, he negated their crimes or their being incarcerated. he affirmed their humanity that no matter how they got to prison, the atrocities committed. they are human being worthy of god's love, mercy and forgiveness. no matter what your station in life, your humanity has values. that was important to see and hear today imam, in so many ways this is not just about christians or about jesus christ. i guess when we talk about the
pope, relating to muslims, when we talk about the pope relating to hindus, what is it that transcends those different religious beliefs? for me, there's one guard, the guard of the jews, the muslims and the buddhists, it's one guard, and that unconditional love of god transep sends our differences the ability to work together to become a voice of social justice, environmental justice, a voice of political justice, and economic. it transcends all the differences. i know that we have differences. but we have more in common than the differences that separated us. you know, the reference to market 25, 31 or 46 that is rather important. in order to find god you need to
be with the poor. and being with the poor is not about being muslim, jewish or christian, it's being a good human being. at the end of the day we are created in the image of god. you know, what is happening in the middle east, it's not only the problem of the muslims, jews or others, it's a problem for awful us. we need to work together to bring peace to the middle east and america. by the way, something was referred to earlier about what made the pope relevant and his message important? >> the media got on board. so many media outlets in america divided us, focused on a magnified. in the last few days united on focussing on the positive message of the pope, and, therefore, for me, it's my call
on every media outlet, focus on the good of our religions, not the bad stuff that crazy people do. >> you might perceive this as a negative question, it's not meant as one. there has been differences between hindus and catholics, what do you think the pope has down to bring the two religions together? >> the differences will always be there. i don't think there are such differences that we cannot sit and work with. the fact that people mention, he treats people, he looks at god in each one of us, that's the basic teaching. each one of us is divine, that is how he looks the part. and the basic concept is the same. and i think the differences are human creative differences and are greeted across the table and talks. i think diversity is enough.
when there's religious diversity, it's good to sit and listen. all of us look at one good, maybe i look differently, but the method of worship is different. the same thing here. looking at someone, a supreme divine, someone that gives the energy, i think even though there may be differences between christians and the hindus, nothing is not workable. i look forward to a better technique. just about any faith at all. the goal is to make sure we sit together and work together and bring the confidence together. we as leaders might sit and talk, but what is important is to bridge the messages back, and i am sure of the fact that the public at large, that this message was resonating with just about everybody across the
board. i was looking forward to this conversation and participation in this conversation about pope francis's visit, and really transpired over the last few days and how it affects other religions, thanks, again, for all of you. we'll take a quick break, and go to the picture of philadelphia, where the pope is getting ready to leave and the crowd is gathering to say goodbye. we'll be right back after this. don't go
. >> welcome back to the coverage of pope francis in america. he has a few more minutes before getting on the airline out at the airport. i do want to talk a bit about some of the incredible moments that we have seen, and your favourites. what about you, patrick? >> in pope francis's last comments to the u.s. he quoted the bible - i say to you as you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it for me. a quote from the gospel, about the need to care for the sick, hungry, poor, those in prison. if there's a bible quote that sums up the visit, it's that
one. this morning we saw pope francis do something he's become famous for over his time as a church leader, going to a prison. we have some of that video from this morning. >> we were watching here. >> there's the pope. and what struck me was that the end of this address at the prison, the pope greeted each individual prisoner, spent a few seconds with some, spent longer with others. there's a level of personal care that was there that we have all been talking about, marking the pope's care as a pastor. >> we believe this is the pope's motorcade moving towards the plain. i want to talk about your favourite moment, sally. >> well, i had a number of favourite moments, i loved the prison moment. i mean, that to me was the most tragic at the same time. because here are these people
who have completely destroyed their lives, and done terrible things, and yet he sees each one of them as a child of god, and a human being, and he is there to help them. maybe he'll rehabilitate some of them. there was something poignant about that for me. a moment that i wouldn't say my favourite moment, but a moment i felt was interesting was when he was talking to the women, talking about how important they were in the church, and that has made a lot of catholic women crazy because women are not allowed to be priests in the catholic church. there was a whole group. they actually are appointing
priests and they were all excommunicated. and this bridge the mary mian was one of the bishops, and she says about the pope, he has the big blind spot on women. he doesn't understand that women are full, responsible. >> there's a lot more nuns in the united states as there are priests, and they are doing a lot of great work, and as i pointed out they sit in the church, they don't popes in the same way as priests do. we are watching the pope make the last trip in the united states. in the famous fiat in which he has made yours, it's not the traditional limousine, the big car, it's the little car, not the gas guzzler, and is the one
that got around just fine, and has waved to the american people. there's a light inside so affects that are on the tarmac can get one last glimpse of the pap before making it up the stairway. as we watch this, i want to put a hypothetical to you. if this is three years ago, and i told you the pope came to america, then crowds delivered a positive message, didn't dwell on condemn nation on matters like abortion, you'd think i was crazy, it's so accustomed in the last two, two and a half years to the pastoral touch. it behooves us to think about what a remarkable gift the roman catholic church has been at the time of this collection. this is unlikely in an unlikely
part of the world. he is transforming. and the first jesuit. >> after listening to those who believe in other religions a little while ago, talk about what the pope's visit meant to them and their religions, and how important it is, they have transcended, going beyond the catholic church and christians, and had a tremendous impact, and in whole message of love, this message of helping the boar. and feeding the hungry, and giving the homeless shelter. and curing disease, and lending a hand to people that need a hand it a very powerful message, going beyond the church. >> and the way that he's challenged other leaders. a striking moment on the trip. the pope addressed bishops of the united states.
he said will be attractive to people when you show them love. that's not just a political point. >> it's a tough call for some of them. >> it is, that was an unspoken subtext. many catholic bishops took a far more conservative line than this pope has. the reaction of the people here in philadelphia, he has hearts and minds of american catholics in a remarkable... >> i told you this before. as we watched this trip unfold, optics are important. they are men out on the tarmac, and there's no women. that's well an important point. the church is going to move forward in this millennium, and get people back into the tent. it seems to me all the great messages are terrific.
>> they'd look great in those addresses. one of the things that struck me as we talked about this is how onmessage obama is. it was striking to watch when obama was speaking, the pope was speaking, that they could practically have had the same speech writers on most of the messages, when the pope talks, obama uses that all the time, speaking about that, that was the theme of his speech at a national breakfast. the one thing that was different is obama spoke prowomen today, and said that countries who do the best, and who are the most successful are the one that is honour and value their will in, and, of course, you can't value women if you are a catholic, and you are a believing catholic,
and you see that there are no women in the hierarchy than just your own perception of women's role in the world, is lessoned. do you think women are a second class sit gen. it's an important point, the pope getting ready to say good bay to the mair of philadelphia, who has been a host here in the city of philadelphia. these are important issues that clearly in a short period of time the pope hasn't been able to address, and yet has there been able to that's the one message he brought to this
country. >> i think it's possible for both. there is some way to go. there are significant theological obstacles, leaving aside the social or the political obstacles. an enduring when is what is the pope doing to enable successors to be like him, than some that he calls harsh and divisive. that goes back to the question how long will he be pope. will he appoint a cardinals more like him or less, and when the next conclave comes around, what will that look like. >> waiting to say goodbye to the pope before he gets on the stairway and heads up to the jet to make the trip back. >> so much depend on when you
talk about the next pope, on the cardinals, and some have their noses out of joint because they don't like the direction he's taking things, he's trying to clean up the vatican, get rid of all the corruption. he's redoing the banking system. he's throwing people out of castles, you know. people are putting their mercedes away and driving around in volkswagen, and people are not happy. >> he's in charge now. >> and the next time around they may say, you know, this is not what we want. >> patrick, what is next with the pope? >> the pope returns to rome form on this chartered american 777 flight. a week from now he begins a major worldwide meeting, the synod of bishops. just as this meeting in philadelphia was a meeting on the family of popes waving goodbye, i was looking at the
photos, going in the plane for the journey home. the sooner the family picks up where the world meeting left off, asking crucial questions, question where there's no consensus within the catholic world, issues like divorce and remarriage. should those that re married outside the church take communion, what about contraception and marriage. they were talked about in the first part of the synod. it stands to reason they'll be talked about this time as well. >> it's an american airlines jet that will take him back. he came in on an italian jet and is going back on america, which ferried him around the county in the united states. we are about to say goodbye as the pope says goodbye, and i want to thank patrick and sally for hours of great conversation
and analysis of the pope's visit. what do you take away from this? >> i think there's a lot of contradictions in this pope. he's an incredible person, clearly a holy person, a spiritual person. i think on the issues of immigration, and the poor, and i think he's fantastic. i think he's got some work to do on the issues of women, and l.g.b.t., and - but he's wonderful on the idea of inclusion and bringing people together and pluralism. there's conflicts there. but i think on the whole, this is an extraordinary man who i think will have a huge effect on not just the people in this country, but the people throughout the world. >> patrick? >> it was an incredible visit. two points - one is three years ago none of us could have predicted that this would be the state of the papacy or the roman
catholic church. there was nothing before the surprise announcement leading to us to predict anything like this. it's a game-changing moment. pope francis, during this trip helped us to redefine what it means for the catholic church to be a church. he said "a christianity that does little while incessantly explaining its teachings is dangerously unbalanced." that's a beautiful sentence, a one-sentence manifesto for who the pope has been, how he sees pt church being in mission. about going out to the frontieres, the marginalized, it's about serving people, rather than getting bogged down in debates about who is in, who is out. that is a breath of fresh air, even though there is still controversy and there's still work to be done. >> so many moments that we watched today, and the moment that i remember is when the president spoke at the united
nations, talking about ending poverty and disease, and trying to help other countries around the world and people around the world. the pope was in the pope-mobile just across from us as we watched him kissing babies and talking about children and talking to families. it was a powerful moment and i know the church says pope francis is not political. >> although he thinks politics is a good thing. these two men were in sync in a big way, and they were talking about the same thing. whether or not it was politics or morality, it was a remarkable time to watch. it's been an amazing journey for the pope, it's back to italy. thank you for watching. i'm john seigenthaler, see you
next time. [ ♪ ] >> i'm ali velshi. this is a special edition of "third rail." the fervor of pope francis's visit underscores how many are devoted to religion. but that seems at odds with the u.s. constitution which never once mentions god. ists a tension in american life that began with the country's founding and may never be resolved.
>> amazing grace ♪ >> american presidents often become america's pastors, legally though, politics and religion are not supposed to plix. >> i believe in an america where the separation of church and state are absolute. >> church and state are and must remain separate. >> but separation of church and state remains controversial. >> this nonsense about separation of church and state has gotten way way beyond the bounds of what the founders of our constitution thought. >> there are plenty of politicians who agree with that. >> i see no separation between my faith and my personal and professional lives. >> and then there's the question of whether all faiths are even welcome in american politics. >> i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. >> so is america a secular nation and what is the law of
this land when it comes to its many faiths and politics? >> whatever we once were, we are no longer a christian inflation at least not just. we are also a jewish nation, a muslim nation and a buddhist nation and a hindu nation and a nation of nonbelievers. >> i must begin our exploration with faith and politics with allen dershowitz, author of many books including abraham, the world's first but not last jewish lawyer. you've not lost your humor about coming up with books. religion and the state, the u.s. you wouldn't know this if you had been watching presidential politics and debates. but the u.s. don't endorse a particular religion, you know this better than i do but the constitution says, no religious test shall be required by a milk office in the united states. we are not supposed to have this
as a litmus test yet running for office this seem to be a point of faith for people to talk about their faith. >> in the history of the world not to make a person's religion a point of politics. jude aism that lasted much into the 20th century so it's a great thing about the american constitution that we don't provide religious tests. polls will show people won't vote for an atheist or a catholic. how many people know that bernie sanders is jewish? how many people know their religious affiliation of candidates,. >> but from the talk you would think most of them are christians because they invoke god of what was, particularly in the protestant tradition but a number of catholics running.
ben carson made a comment about muslims not can't be president. >> the idea that a candidate would say, a muslim can't be president it's like a black man can't be president or a woman can't be president. >> they all know that clearly a muslim can be president but ben carson is saying they really shouldn't. >> and i think he understood that would resonate with a certain number of people in his base and that's worse. leaders have to demand the best of their base not the worst of their base. that's kind of conversation you may wants to have in a bar but when you are running for president you elevate, you don't reduce and engage in bigotry. that's bigotry. we all know individual muslims we would be throild have
thrilled to have as president of the united states, i also know ones i wouldn't want, or jews or catholics. religion for most americans is not a choice, most live and die in the same race they were born into. >> when 80% of americans say they're religious in some way and that somehow translates into who they would elect as president, would they be just as happy to understand that a president is guided by values and morals that they compare to what they think of as religion? >> there is no relationship between morals and religion. zero relationship, there's nothing to say that atheists are less moral by actions or beliefs. it is a fallacy that religion or morality in practice have anything to do with each other. we have had atheist presidents, we may have had gay presidents,
for all we know, but atheists were as deep in the closet as gays were, for many years. you have to wear your religious affiliation on your sleeve, that's wrong. we're the only western country that -- in europe, nobody knows, in israel people don't pronounce whether they go to synagogue or not go to synagogue. we live in a secular western world in which people should be free to have strong religious beliefs but not to be bigoted about their religions. >> we succeed so well in american for one reason that is we embrace in a lot of ways our pluralism. our american society flawed, but coming together stronger together than individually. why doesn't that work into religion, into religion and politics? >> it does except when leaders pander.
whether leaders pander and say, i'm more religious than you are, we didn't hear that from john kennedy when he was running for president but we hear it from santorum and other candidates who proclaim, we hear it from justice scalia on the supreme court, who says that his catholicism transcends his institutionalism. if he would have to choose he would have to choose catholicism. >> president kennedy did in fact say he would be guided in his faith by, his catholic faith by the pope not in his governmental decision. that was a bigger concern probably today than it was, the pope have been one of the few people from the outside to address congress. >> i love him i think he's terrific, he reflects the best of religious traditions but he's
very controversial both in south america in the vatican and in the united states because he doesn't represent the moss traditional conservative approach to cliquism. >> he's getting away with things that most popes don't have. a little bit of cherry picking about what type of religion is good and when the pope says he wants to deal with income inequality and climate change you're not going to hear -- >> you might hear sanders talk about this. in fact sanders who is jewish may be closer to this pope than any other candidate. >> last year at baylor university, you said in a speech there's increasing disdain for religion. i was wondering when you said this on you one land we're in a society where it shouldn't matter as much. you do draw a distinction, you don't think we should have disdain for religion. >> absolutely. >> and pluralism should trump --
>> we want an accommodation. we don't want the state to tell people what they can think and when there's a conflict between what a person could do and what a person's religion demands and what civic society demands we try our best to accommodate. the case obviously involving a clerk and gay marriage is an instance where we have tried to accommodate. but the accommodation there seems to be simple. if she can't perform marriages she should quit the job. >> what's the trick about the fact that she gets to be put there by the people? >> because probably the constitution doesn't give the majorities the right to be bigoted. the constitution has its own demands. even if 99% of americans oppose gay marriage if the constitution says gays have to be treated equally, that's the way it is. when degraitio desegregation occurred, the major were against it.
gay marriage is now one of them. >> in accepting an water a aware freedom of religion, do not publicly proclaim your own religious devotion affiliation and practices or attack those of your opponents. i think we share a view on this. >> right. >> how do you tell your voter i'm governed by these principles, these values? >> what you tell them is the values of are governed by, compassion, equality but don't relate them to a particular religious creed and don't critique your opponent. george washington drove his wife to church but stayed outside. our founding fathers were deists, had a belief in god and
the here after. >> isn't that a short hands for this is a set of my beliefs? >> no, they are not. you can express your sets of releafs without saying that they come from god, come for jesus, president. that is not appropriate political dialogue. >> that's come from a surprising number of candidates, that god told them to run for president. >> i know, i know. god has better things to do than decide which candidates, as abraham lincoln once said, the question is not whose side is god on but are we on god's side? if you want to be on god's side do it privately, live your life in a godly way but don't bring religion into politics. >> allen dershowitz .
the third rail panel is next. >> former gop strategist and a pat >> the homeless... it's not always who you think. >> the majority are families with children. >> a growing epidemic that impacts us all. >> i think it's the most helpless feeling i've ever experienced. >> but who's getting rich while some are just trying to survive? >> they want to make the city for people that can afford things. >> "faultlines". al jazeera america's hard-hitting... >> today they will be arrested. >> ground-breaking... >> they're firing canisters of gas at us. >> award winning investigative documentary series.
>> i wake in the morning i wait on the lord and i ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people. >> ever since i was a little girl i felt the trust in god. >> our laws do not come from man, they come from god. >> when you turn your heart over to christ, it changes your life. >> god bless america. >> god bless you and god bless the united states of america. >> we're going to pick up our conversation on faith and politics with a question of candidates who don't believe in god. let's bring in our political panel. joe watkins is a former white house aid to president george h. w. bush, pastor with the christ evangelical christian
church . growing one george william welcome to all of you thank you for being here. joe, former white house staffer, form he gop strategist and a pastor of a church in a poor neighborhood. >> yes right. >> if a candidate shared your views on the world your beliefs but was an atheist would you vote for them? >> sure, sure. at the end of the day, what matters is not what somebody's religious affiliation or beliefs, but whether it comes to politics and government where they stand on the issues i care about. on the issues of faith and love. >> what are the issues? >> everything is tied to faith but i realize most people don't necessarily take their faith seriously. you know just because somebody was born a protestant or born a catholic that they take their faith
seriously, is imbued, how they would legislate if they were elected official. for me i care about poor people, i care about making sure that people who don't have a chance have a level playing field to play on. i care about housing, education many i want kids that don't have a great education have a chance to great education. i care about all this. >> pardon the pun, you are agnostic on that. you heard my interview with allen dershowitz. we talked about a 2013 pew poll, people are less likely to support a president who is an atheist, than a president who cheated on their spouse, is gay? why is atheism the third rail? >> the nature of american society, still a very religious society we have set this expectation, to some degree it's just tradition in this country.
>> we are founded on people who came here for religious freedom. so this is a human part of the american psyche. >> or maybe they came here to be able to have their own religion. >> freedom of religion not freedom from religion. >> and each state had their own religion at one point. and atheists are like the big other now. people don't know who they are, they don't -- >> and this came up in the conversation with demp dershowitz. he said something interesting to me which i'm not sure i agreed with and that is that there's a disconnect between morals and religion. >> there is. >> the idea that they don't necessarily share your morals and views. >> this is what mainstream america does, put labels on people, that's the conversations they want to have. they're not having a real conversation, they're having a
fake conversation. atheism is a huge gray blob of people and there's all sorts of people in this mix, everyone from richard dawkins, who is the new atheist guy who is willing to go after people to people like my self, i'm agnostic, i don't believe a man in the sigh, i believe in the big electron like my dad used to say, i believe in living a ethical life, making the world a better place and that's my responsibility to do that. that sounds pretty moral to me. >> it depends who you are. atheism as long as you are talking about the concept of atheism, that's a concept that a lot of americans don't take kindly to. but if you put a face on it, and it's your face and somebody you know and like it's a very, very different -- >> there's a poll in june that indicated that 60% of americans say they would vote for a muslim presidential candidate, 38% said
they would not, i don't believe that michael, i think that's people answering a poll question in a nice way. but that said the generic muslim candidate, we haven't seen one. jeb bush, marco rubio praising the pope as a spiritual leader, a lot of this talk is about inequality. about the poor. this is an international conversation right now this concept of inequality. and yet you have these same presidential candidates, particularly the republicans, going out there and talking about cutting the very programs that the pope would actually not cut. >> well, this goes to the heart of this long standing tension in the republican party which is the party establishment the people who really pull the levers, you have big money donors, it's basically pro-business group and the policies that ultimately emerge from candidate after candidate are tax cuts, that disproportionately favor the wealthy, they have a philosophy as to why that's good for the poor but not everyone agrees it
will work. and voters end up siding can with them on issues of social conservatism. ending up going along with an economic agenda this actually doesn't match what their faith would suggest. that's the alliance that's made. >> you're absolutely right. the republican party of the 1950s and 60s was the party that made sure that civil rights got passed. >> but when there are only two parties to vote for you don't get the full range of conversation politically or socially. you have to kind of pick and choose. you're stuck with i kind of like them on this but not on this. like i said before, there's not a real conversation going on. we're not managing the conversation. the big donors are managing the conversation. >> let me ask you this. 70% of white evangelical think, a number of gop candidates, talk
about a war on christianity? do they have a point? >> no. >> does the left go too far on attacking conservative christians? >> i think there's opposition to this religiousity that they feel attacked. i don't feel threatened, you're free to do what you want. >> it all makes for about television. anger. at the end of the day i just hold that there's popular religion in america, that is to say, americans classify themselves as one religion or another but not faithful adherence. >> i think we get professional moralists in the media who have a political agenda and they use this card, this religious card in order to get attention for their ideas and issues and they put these politicians, are you
with us or against us? if you are not with us, you're not a religions plan. the. >> the late christopher hitchens for whom i have great respect, he was an amazing attack dog, agree with him offer or not but there is a blurring of issues, religious make, middle class and white america, which generally feels their culture is under assault. about a lot of things that has to do with supreme court rulings on gay maicialg, t marriage, donald trump has been actually leading with evangelical voters, in iowa, for instance, because they see him standing up for a strain of american culture that is in many ways in sync they say is dying but in many ways is in sync,
that they see under assault and falling around them, not only christopher hitchens who they think is obnoxious, because of what the supreme court is doing, there's a general sense that america is changing and sometimes that is articulated as my faith is under attack. >> absolutely. this is once again fear of the other, of the unknown, not understanding that all hell is going to break loose if this country becomes a more diverse, concept of place. >> the religious right in the country has been a political force from a media perspective and political perspective since about ronald reagan's election in 1988. since then it has suffered almost unbroken string of political defeat, on same sex marriage on abortion on prayer on the federal level.
on state court issues, where is the religious right in the discourse anyway? >> well i think it's definitely losing crucial battles. the opposition against gay marriage was a real dig the trenches, hunker down, this is a pivotal moment for us, and they really lost big. we're finally starting to understand on questions of social mores and dignity we are leaping ahead. it is true, you can find, organizing on a local level, the religious right still has some outposts where they are holding territory so to speak. but i think they are really losing ground. >> so here's the challenge. americans now fit into a bunch of categories. you may be an evangelical, but if you are unemployed evangelical, your issue isn't that, you're thrig about jobs. you may be an evangelical you
may be anti-gun or pro-gun so you can't just appeal to people nowadays based on that alone. >> i remember in iowa, evangelicals telling me it's nice you lump us in an evangelicals we have other issues. >> as a woman you know i do feel like that the religious right has undermined my rights to control my own body and my own decisions. that does scare me that they have closed hundreds of abortion clinics in many states, it is a federal right, federal law that we have to protect my right. >> you're talking about women, there's a demographic reality that favors a democratic candidate, can you have a republican presidential candidate win but not one who stakes out a position too far on the right. how do republicans square that? >> the way that happens, the way the elect ralg map looks republicans can probably keep control of the house and senate but not any time soon.
so the only republican that's going to be able to win is somebody that cannot only retain base which is very regionalized ebay, the red states, but also, draw heavily on int independents and republicans. >> empower these evangelicals we're talking about iowa and south carolina,. >> disproportionately. >> you have to zig to the right and back to the center. >> and we have all the video. well look at this, look at what they said six months ago, now they're saying this, oh dear. >> great conversation. thanks for joining us, joe, michael and calie. the conversation continues on our website
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else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. . >> this is al jazeera america, i'm adam may sitting in for del walters, and here is a look at the top stories. pope francis wrapped up his landmark visit to the u.s., celebrating with a mass in philadelphia. >> the bible says beware of false prophets. >> john boehner turning to scripture to lash